Athearn Genesis F3's

Discussion in 'New Products' started by rjthomas909, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    Ozarktraveler and rjthomas909 like this.
  3. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    It's a shame nobody offers dummy "B" units any more. I have seen very few layouts where a powered "B" unit is necessary to move a train over the layout. A second, usually redundant, "B"B unit is how the price gets to $560.00

  4. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Wow, five "likes" for my previous comment, a personal best. Now if only the manufacturers would take note.

  5. I’ll consider that highly unlikely. The “A” word struggles to recognize their own problems with performance and cosmetics.
    They have some great products too though and at least have released several Frisco subjects at least.
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  6. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    My impressions of the Athearn Genesis diesel line aren't favorable. Said impressions made by seeing the Genesis models of my friends as taken out of the box and placed on my DCC controlled tracks. The various issues I've seen:

    * Small parts loose in the box.

    * Small parts coming off on the layout.

    * Feeble sound volumes. (Even though I'm turning my sounds down overall, I'm talking you had to lean over and put your ear inches from the engine to hear the sounds.)

    * Unsatisfactory start and creep speeds out of the box, especially in view of the "high end" that Genesis models are to represent.

    * Total lack of response (sound or movement) of one engine, regardless of button pushed, selecting default "3" channel, etc.

    The above has totally scared me away. I own no Genesis products to date.

  7. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    "Dummy" B units...

    I'm one of those chaps that loves mountain railroading. Therefore, my freelance layout reflects the steep grade of the Frisco's "Boston Mountain Grade" from Chester (grade gets ultra serious at Schaberg actually) to Winslow. The steepest section on the prototype is 2.69% (about a mile of it). My steepest part is near 2.9%. Total length of my climb is right at 55'-57'. The rails climb a total of 18" to access the upper level.

    This means that my ruling grade, really is. With a pass track length train (2 powered engines, 16 cars, and a caboose) I will not be able to run dummy units and still have a hope of making the climb up Hogback Mountain (what the locals call it) to Piney Gap with such a train. In fact, depending on the train you're pullin'... you just might not make it with a pass track length train. (Depends on rolling qualities of the individual cars, weights of the cars, and how many loads the train consists of.) Throwing a dummy engine into the equation changes everything in regards to actual ability to climb the grade as well as being overly limiting should one of the two engines be a dummy. (It could represent an engine that laid down, though.)

    All of the above is intentional. When I designed my layout, I designed it so the ruling grade (of my entire imagined freelance system) is the focal point of operations and the bottle neck of the entire north/south main from Kansas City to New Orleans. That's why I left the cars that rolled "less than satisfactory" by other's standards just as they were once metal wheels were installed, haven't tried to balance the weights of all the cars, and (will) use weighted loads for open top cars. In other words: Variables to deal with.

    So far the above approach is working like a charm and rewarding me with exactly what I was wanting: Actual tonnage ratings and not contrived tonnage ratings. (As was the case on my past layouts.)

    Sounds pretty cool to be climbing the grade in Run 8 at maybe 10 MPH... and stall out with the engines just sitting there (spinning their wheels) and screaming. Love that whine of the EMD 567's when you pack it in and cut the throttle. You know yer goose is cooked when that happens and you're either going to double on up to the Gap, or if an engine and crew is available out of Ozarka, wait for them to get sent out to help you up the grade. Eventually, I will learn what trains could use a helper and they'll leave Ozarka with a helper, but given the newness of my layout, right now I'm learning these things as I play trains.

    Fun times!

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  8. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Well I guess it beats nothing.
    Sirfoldalot and gjslsffan like this.
  9. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    I got a 5010 when they were blowing out the non-sound/non-DCC models a few years ago.

    I realize those are MSRP, and street price will be much lower, but man, those are expensive.

    EDIT: I just looked at the Bachmann Decapod thread. I think I was too hard on Athearn :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  10. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I have several pieces from the genesis line. I have found that from the factory, the drive trains are VERY stiff. I've also found the the new round house releases are the same way. You have to put them on the track one at a time and break them in good in both directions before doing anything else.
    My biggest complain is about 1/4th of the GP38/40/50s arrive with damage to the front and or rear hand rails. Athearn has known about this for years and won't fix it. They might send replacement rails if they have them in stock.
    With all that said, I think that dollar for dollar, Athearn makes the best product.
  11. I paint a lot of models for people and myself, and I am surprised that for $45 I repair almost every Tangent covered hopper I receive. All of them have roof walks that are either loose or all together off. I also recently finished a Tangent car that one whole side of it had the printing smeared. The owner was ok with repairs to look like patches luckily or that car would have needed replaced. Their detail is incredible but it seems sometimes the focus of attention is hyper focused on small fittings and the entire car lacks attention.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  12. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Just an opinion, but over the years I have participated in any number of operating sessions, and for my money your best bet if you are the owner of an operating layout is to find as many old blue box and roundhouse cars as you can. During an op session, very few people have the time (or the eyesight) to notice and/or appreciate separately-applied details, unless they get broken off from the cars being handled too much. Same thing with locomotives. We have lots of contemporary power on our club layout, most of which are in constant need of handrail repair, adjustments, etc. I run the RIP track between sessions, and this is pretty much most of what I see.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  13. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Agree 100% Greg.

    Long ago I started leaving off details on my engines, and the ones I do add I make durable. (Brass horns, scratch built brass post-mounted sunshades/etc) for the very same reasons you mention. For rolling stock I am amassing/using Athearn blue box, MDC/Roundhouse shake the box, and the like (even stuff older than that), also for the very same reasons: The equipment on operating layouts get handled, and oft get mishandled.

    My last contest models were waaaay back in the early-mid 80's. Once I was up and going again with an operational layout, I saw my folly and began to simplify. When it comes to modeling, I much prefer to operate my trains rather than display them or just look at them. (Except for my vintage Lindberg Lines stuff, which runs so poorly I'd rather just look at it!)

  14. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale Member

    These don't look to be black and YELLOW either. Isn't it funny how Athearn never shows photographs? I'm not buying any more Athearn that I can't see in person before hand.
  15. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

  16. Funny seeing all the controversy on the color. I was relieved when I saw this color was NOT the lemon yellow used on some. I saw the preproduction models over the summer and thought they looked great. (Less spark arrestors) Maybe it is from being used to Microscale decals color but the lemon color never looks right from other decal companies or worse yet was the yellow Intermountain used.
    I don’t recall ever seeing photos that looked like the bright lemon color.
  17. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I like the color Athearn/Genesis is using, looks right to me.
    But I too would like to see the models pictured instead of computer generated images.

    On the other hand. I would like to bring up the shades of Orange and Reds used as well, might as well bring it all up again for umpteenth time huh. LOL.
    modeltruckshop likes this.
  18. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Agree with Keith: The Genesis yellow color choice looks to be the best match yet for a model mfg'er.

    Never been sold on the lemon yellow of the P2K FA-1. I have a NIB set, but I will attempt to do something about the lemon yellow paint. Obviously, I never saw a Frisco FA-1 fresh from ALCo of Schenectady. Perhaps that color is correct for a brand new unit. Instead, the "yellow" on car body engines that I saw was on EMD F units, and my memories reflect a much more subdued yellow color, very likley from fading/etc. The Floquil color that several of us local Frisco fans used was Floquil's UP "Armour Yellow", which did seem to emulate the toned-down yellow that most of us saw on the EMD F's from our day.

    No doubt, the "correct" rendition of "yellow" for a car body Frisco unit (or the "yellow" stripes on hood units) is something that is going to be very subjective, so I reckon we'll all have to make decisions on what looks "right" to our eyes and call it good.

    gjslsffan and modeltruckshop like this.
  19. geep07

    geep07 Member

    And So It Begins, Again!
    gjslsffan and modeltruckshop like this.
  20. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Set up one of the new Genesis GP7's next to one of the Genesis F3's. I'll bet the "yellow" colors are about the same.

    To me, the P2K FA1/FB1 models have too bright of a yellow. No matter - once they got out on the road for a while, the yellow carried a grime finish most of the time.

    gjslsffan likes this.

Share This Page